If this posting is in the wrong section I apologize!
On a recent web application we have decided that the most functional use of a given side bar space would be filled with user comments on a given topic. These comments (in html) would be inside a <div> tag. In this general area would be an option to post comments by a user, clicking the link would reload the <div> contents with the Comment Form allowing the user to post the comments.
Search engines have no issues with <div> - it's just markup, they are uninterested in it. Any markup can be abused, it isn't peculiar to divs, you can equally hide and/or stuff a paragraph but that doesn't mean everyone should avoid using <p>.